Blackwater founder Prince's company enters Congo insurance industry

By Hereward Holland

By Hereward Holland

KINSHASA, March 9 (Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo has granted an insurance licence to a subsidiary of Hong-Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (FSG), a security and logistics company run by Erik Prince, the founder of private security firm Blackwater.

Prince, who renamed Blackwater and sold it in 2010 after several of its employees were indicted on unlawful killing charges related to their work during the Iraq War, has run FSG since 2014. The company has a subsidiary in Congo with a mandate to extract and sell minerals and work in security.

He has also been active pitching projects in countries around the world, including Venezuela, where he floated a plan last year to deploy a private army to help the opposition topple President Nicolas Maduro, sources told Reuters.

Congo's Insurance Regulation and Control Authority (ARCA) issued a licence to Global Pionner Assurance, majority-owned by FSG's Congo subsidiary, ARCA said in a statement seen by Reuters on Monday.

It also authorised licences to subsidiaries of Kenya's Mayfair Insurance and pan-African Sunu Group, as well as three insurance brokerage firms, as part of an initiative to liberalise Congo's insurance sector.

FSG did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has close ties to state-owned Chinese investment firm CITIC and provides services to Chinese firms operating in Africa. (Reporting and writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Aaron Ross and Stephen Coates)